April in Washington, D.C. means many things, but of special significance is the glorious transition from winter to spring, signaled by the explosion of thousands of cherry blossom trees. A courtesy gift from Japan to the United States in 1912, Washington’s cherry blossoms are famous throughout the U.S. How lucky we were to have the opportunity to highlight these beautiful blossoms at an event this past spring. Check out the story and photos below for our take on a special spring bat mitzvah reception.
Custom invitations and postage set the stage. Tasked with paying homage to D.C.’s very special spring blooms along with a rustic chic vibe, we built upon the invitation design that our client fell in love with early on and created a distinctive yet cohesive color palette and design.
A fresh take on bat mitzvah pink, along with a sophisticated, layered design. Instead of the more typical hot pink, we dropped the temperature down a notch and built a color palette around watermelon pink. Still bold, but a softer complement to our chosen gray (charcoal) and layered natural colors and textures. Sweet and fresh with a modern twist.
As to florals, we knew that peonies would be just PERFECT for this event. Large, lush, youthful watermelon pink peonies to complement the delicate white cherry blossom branches we already knew we’d be featuring.
The image below is a closeup of one of our star peonies, on site. Jaw dropping gorgeous. On the evening of the event, we overheard exclamation after exclamation from nearly all who walked into the room … those peonies are just too beautiful to be real!
And we decided to layer in chalkboard and rustic natural elements to lend warmth and intimacy to the space, as well as achieve the rustic chic vibe envisioned by our client.
Tiny hanging lanterns and twinkling fairy lights to add youthful magic.
And unusual watermelon pink sweets for an element of sweet surprise.
The delights and challenges of an unusual function space. Lansdowne Resort in Loudoun County, Virginia, was the setting for this mitzvah reception. But instead of the usual main or clubhouse ballroom, our client opted to use a very different space – the on-the-property restaurant Riverside Hearth. Striking architecturally, but an unusual choice.
Hexagonal in shape and spread across two levels, the restaurant would need to be functionally and aesthetically transformed. Such a transformation can be quite challenging, especially when up against the usual site and cost constraints. Excited about the challenge, however, we designed a floorplan that complemented the special features of the space, as well as those of the adjacent pre-function area.
“Rustic chic, cherry blossom sweet” from welcome to close. Arriving guests were welcomed onto Waterfall Terrace, just outside Riverside Hearth. The space has the feel of a rustic, yet elegant mountainside retreat. A towering stone wall dominates the indoor terrace, but its curving shape, earthen color, and natural, uneven texture bring the massive backdrop down to scale. Gently cascading water and soft lighting further warm the space.
We had our florist bring in tall, fresh cut cherry blossom branches to adorn the landing table just above Waterfall Terrace, creating a very special first impression. Set against the backdrop of the stone wall, the branches and blossoms brought to mind a beautiful painting.
Tiny votive lanterns hung from the cherry blossom branches. Floating candles and photographs of Sophie in rustic frames surrounded the arrangement. A custom, burlap name banner strung across the wall added another personal touch. And a chalkboard sign with a sweet baby photo of Sophie perched informally against the landing table lent additional warmth and intimacy to the otherwise voluminous space.
The overall effect was both majestic and welcoming, the stone wall symbolizing the age old traditions being celebrated, and the delicate spring blossoms symbolizing the freshness of youth.
A charmingly rustic, but entirely of-the-moment look for the escort card table. For the escort card table, we chose crisp white linen with burlap overlays laid on the diagonal and sourced a rustic wood frame from which to clip our client’s chalkboard tags. A delightful alternative to traditional escort cards. Rustic letter lights (Sophie’s initials) lent a warm glow to the entire vignette.
And for an unexpected pop of color, we filled a silver mercury glass bowl with watermelon pink natural candy shards. Double duty decor and take home treat.
Inside Riverside Hearth there are floor to ceiling windows that link the interior to the landscape beyond. Here we alternated watermelon pink and charcoal gray shantung linen on the adult tables and added modern rustic fruitwood reception chairs. Tall cherry blossom branch centerpieces were set on the watermelon pink tables, beautifully framed by the windows.
On the gray tables, we featured low centerpieces with more of those posh peonies and natural accents. Nestled in rustic wood boxes. the arrangements were rustic chic to the max.
Table number cards were custom designed to match the invitation.
For the young adult banquet tables, we designed beautiful tablescapes of individual peonies, reindeer moss, rustic garden votives, and twinkling fairy lights, all set upon burlap runners. Again, strong pops of color with rustic accents for a totally chic vibe.
Portable iphone chargers were tucked into small burlap bags and placed on the young adult tables as take-home favors. A perfect choice for digital-saavy teens. And packaged to coordinate beautifully with the rest of the decor.
Details, details, details. Galvanized tin buckets filled with watermelon pink popcorn added a bit of whimsy to the tablescapes. Another special little detail. We couldn’t help but notice lots of scooping!
A sweet finale. Dessert was so much fun. Rustic chic for a food savvy crowd. And fabulously different from the traditional mitzvah dessert table and ice cream sundae bar.
For the young adults, we created a vintage ice cream float bar featuring vanilla ice cream in iced mason jars, old fashioned root beer and pink Izzes, and all kinds of toppings.
And for the adults, a shortcake bar! All of the fixins’ at the shortcake bar were crafted from scratch by Tiffany MacIsaac, D.C.’s beloved dessert diva. Who could resist those mouth watering warm biscuits, fresh fruit compotes, tangy lemon curd, or artisan flavored whips (matcha green tea anyone?)?!
What a delightful endnote to a fabulous celebration!
A joy to create … thank you!
As with all of our events, each and every element was selected with care, delivered with panache. And, of course, creating that unusual “rustic chic, cherry blossom sweet” vibe was loads of fun from start to finish. Thank you, Jill and Gregg, for giving us the opportunity to help craft a magical evening in honor of a very special young lady!
Vendor credits: Design Atelier Events, LLC | Venue Lansdowne Resort & Spa | Invitation Suite Paper | Postage Zazzle | Floral Edge Floral Event Designers | Shortcake Bar Buttercream Bakeshop | Photography Briar Creek Photography
Photo credits, top to bottom: 1. National Cherry Blossom Festival Media 2. New York Daily News 3. Suite Paper 4. Zazzle 5. Flipline 6. lost-winterborn 7. Atelier Events, LLC 8. Thoughts from Alice 9. Dried Decor 10. Cult Furniture 11. Paper Lantern Store 12. Deelish Dish 13. Atelier Events, LLC 14. Destination Hotels 15. Atelier Events, LLC 16. Atelier Events, LLC 17. Client 18. Briar Creek Photo 19. Briar Creek Photo 20. Sugar Bakers Bakery 21. Atelier Events, LLC 22. Suite Paper 23. Briar Creek Photo 24. Atelier Events, LLC 25. Atelier Events, LLC 26. Client 27. Stephanie Lynn 28. Briar Creek Photo 29. Briar Creek Photo